Record funding for K-12, but Mo. education budget still below formula level
A new spending plan for K-12 education in Missouri is now law.
Gov. Jay Nixon signed the education budget last night at a Kansas City-area Boys State event.
The budget includes record funding for public schools, but remains below the levels called for in the state's education funding formula. A fix was supposed to be a priority for lawmakers in the last legislative session, but the Republican Party couldn't agree on a solution.
"I would like to come back next year and come up with a formula fix if possible," said Republican Senator David Pearce, who chairs his chamber's education committee. "We haven't put any predictability into the formula." He says a fix is necessary to ensure that all districts get a fair amount from the state.
The formula gives districts with higher property taxes less state money. And despite the record funding levels, the Parkway School District will have to cut about $200,000 in expenses.
Spokesman Paul Tandy says the district has made up for past shortfalls by cutting back transportation.
"You can make changes to the way you transport students in terms of the distances to the bus stops, number of kids on the bus and that sort of thing," he said.
Tandy says he believes the state has done the best it can to fund public education in another tough budget year.
Nixon is expected to consider the rest of the budget later this week.\
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